Urban therapy requires a flexibility and dynamism that sets it apart from other talking therapies.
Our client base will not be volunteering to turn up at the same time on the same day each week to lie down on a couch and open up about their feelings for 50 minutes. The conventional therapeutic alliance and treatment model imposes expectations and demands on our clients which are often at odds with their chaotic lifestyles and disorganised relationship styles.
Urban Therapy recognises and responds to the ecological complexity of our clients’ lives by proactively engaging them when and where they feel safe. There’s no such thing as 9-5. We respond at evenings and weekends. We meet at local cafes, parks and police stations. We strive to deliver our work away from buildings linked to statutory settings. This is an integral aspect of building a very different type of relationship in the minds of our clients. We build attuned relationships that are routed in the reality and ecology of our clients’ live.
At the core of Urban Therapy is the effort to develop attachment – caregiving relationships through mentalization based treatment. Certainly a great deal of our time and effort is taken up in the pursuit of practical tasks (like supporting clients to find housing, to engage in ETE, or picking them up from Country and returning them to their placements).But this isn’t what we do. This is how we do it. Whilst all this is going on, our team are modelling and facilitate our clients’ capacity to understand, discuss and label their emotions. We are modelling and supporting their capacity to understand their own psychological states and the psychological states of others. We are nurturing their capacity to self-regulate because we know this is fundamental in helping our clients to live healthy, safe and violence free lives.